Supply chains better at dealing with market uncertainty

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Company supply chains are now better able to handle market uncertainty, according to the 2012 Global Supply Chain Agenda study from Capgemini.

It found that 52 per cent of respondents said they were now better prepared for a more volatile environment than in the economic slowdown of 2008-9.

The study surveyed 350 supply chain executives from companies across Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. It found that market volatility (52 per cent) and the economic downturn (39 per cent) were cited as the biggest business challenges currently faced by respondents, with just 17 per cent optimistic about the outlook for the economy in 2012.

Some 67 per cent of respondents have implemented measures to improve visibility and control within the supply chain and 59 per cent have taken steps to increase flexibility within supply chain operations.

As companies seek to further strengthen supply chain operations in response to the challenging economic environment, 65 per cent of respondents plan to implement operational excellence initiatives designed to establish more value driven and cost effective operations.

Supply chain visibility improvement (57 per cent) is also a key priority as market volatility continues to increase the need for a single, consistent view of the end-to-end supply chain.

Business innovation initiatives (56 per cent) also ranked highly in terms of strategic priorities for 2012 as companies seek new ways of strengthening their supply chain operations.

Business prioritisation (44 per cent) remains the main bottleneck, followed by limited IT capabilities (42 per cent) and financial resource challenges (39 per cent).

“Continued market volatility is severely impacting supply chain strategies everywhere, but it would appear that lessons have been learned from previous periods of economic uncertainty as companies are better prepared for the challenges of 2012 and have implemented a number of measures to improve visibility, flexibility and control within their supply chain,” said Ramon Veldhuijzen, Capgemini’s global logistics and fulfilment lead.

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